I am officially a junior! A-A-A-Whoop!
I can’t believe how quickly my sophomore year came and went. It feels like a month or two ago I was moving into my dorm, and now I’m a few months away from junior year, half excited, because I absolutely love college, my classes, and I’m inching closer to my Aggie ring! But half terrified, too, because as time goes by I’ll soon have to take the GRE, apply to veterinary school, and somewhere in the middle of all that become an adult. Eek!
But for now I’m not going to think about that. I plan on enjoying this summer- between working at two (amazing) veterinary clinics and taking summer classes, I’m hoping to explore Texas and the restaurants in the city, attempt to grow herbs in the backyard that’s notorious for murdering anything planted in its soil, and spend time with the family.
So I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between the beginning of sophomore year and now I learned to be more open to change. Or at least, not so fixated on routine. See, I have a tendency to become obsessed with sticking with a set schedule. Every Tuesday and Thursday I’d have to get a danish, I refused to take the bus even when it was more convenient, I walked the same route to the same place at the same time every day. And while I was super organized, it was all a little boring. I needed uncertainty, a jumpstart to free myself from my routine life.
So I took the bus.
I’m such a thrill-seeker, I know.
In all seriousness though, the bus actually terrified me. I wasn’t sure where most of the stops were, where my own stop was, or even if I was on the right bus. I hated that I didn’t know if the bus would be running late, if it would be slow, or maybe it would go rogue and take me to the next town over. But, I survived, and now I can happily say I’m a part-time bus taker. Most of the time though, I still just like walking.
Lately I’ve been trying to break away from my routine habits with cooking and baking, which involve me barely changing up recipes that I come across. Usually I would just roll out exact replicas of the recipe without putting forth any creativity of my own. No big deal I guess, they still come out delicious. But it’s kind of boring.
So I’ve been trying to change up recipes I come across. Sometimes I do something slightly daring, like putting cayenne pepper in a chocolate cake. Sometimes I just change the oil and and add pecans to a muffin recipe.
Might I say though, these muffins are pretty darn good, change or no change.
Chocolate Orange Pecan Muffins
Makes around a dozen muffins
Adapted from Cupcake Muffin
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
1/4 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper wrappers.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
3. Combine the orange zest, orange juice, oil, and egg in a liquid measuring cup and whisk to combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together with a rubber spatula until just combined. Add the chocolate and pecans and gently fold into the batter.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.